Updated on December 27, 2023


Created on September 27, 2018

Pumpmakers DIY Solar Pump


The Pumpmakers DIY Solar Pump is an open-source above-ground pump powered by solar panels.

Developed By
  1. Pumpmakers
Content Partners


Product Description

The Pumpmakers DIY Solar Pump is designed to be manufactured on-site using locally available materials following the open-source construction manual. It uses a submersible pump piston that connects to a surface crankshaft that lifts the water to the tower, which also supports four solar panels to power the pump.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

PM Pumpmakers GmbH headquartered in Austria, Alpha Group (AG) in Sudan & Ethiopia, Ileys Solar Energy in Somalia, Muqa Solar Company SHPK in Albania & Kosovo, SB TESMA SA in Greece, LNW Ltd. in Tanzania, and many other entrepreneurs, organizations, drilling companies, and NGOs.

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method

The DIY Solar pump consists of the drive unit and pump piston, which are made of corrosion-resistant steel and assembled using open source technical guides. A handheld drill and bits are not required but are highly recommended. The tower, solar panels, control box, and well-head components can be assembled with local parts. Complete do-it-yourself guides are offered on the solution provider's website. Some well and solar panel installation experience is recommended.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can obtain the product through Pumpmakers and some or all of the required components and parts can be ordered and shipped for assembly on site. Or users may be able to purchase the product from local entrepreneurs following the design guidelines and offering assembly and installation services.

Distributions to Date Status

The Pumpmakers Solar pump has been installed worldwide in more than 650 locations and countries with both pre-built systems and DIY systems.

Pump type

Submersible solar pump

Power requirement (W)

400 W

Average flow rate (L/min at specific head)


Maximum head (m)

100 m

Diameter (cm)

10-15 cm

Design Specifications

The DIY Solar Pump can lift water up to a depth of 100 m / 300 ft with a delivery rate of up to 18,000 liters per day. The solar pump is designed to operate up to 10 hours a day while the sun is shining, and includes an optional hand pump in case of nighttime usage. It has no running costs, seals or gaskets, and uses high-quality steel that is saltwater and corrosion-resistant. The instruction manual includes step by step photos so that it can be assembled using local skills and parts.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Technical support is available via the Pumpmakers online community which is under development. This virtual marketplace and web platform includes free access to constructions plans, videos, and books to build and install a solar pump. In development is a social network, a shop to purchase the gear & piston unit, and business plans for using the pump for irrigation or aquaculture.

Replacement Components

There are no consumable parts but replacement parts may be ordered from the manufacturer in the event of a mechanical failure.


10 years

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

To lift water up to a depth of 100 m / 300 ft with a delivery rate of up to 18,000 liters per day.

Vetted Performance Status



During regular operation of the completed well and pump system, only trained and authorized individuals should be allowed within the well perimeter and underneath the tower due to moving parts risk and falling risk. During construction there are additional risks and only trained personnel should operate machinery and install the pump. The pump must operated at temperatures between -40 °C and +60 °C. During the cold season, a water drain must be constructed in the subsoil 1m from ground level to the water from freezing on days when the pumping station is not delivering any water. This can be constructed by means of a small hole for example. Please note that this reduces the flow rate. Any parts to be stored must be kept dry and covered and must be protected against damage.

Complementary Technical Systems

An optional hand pump design is included for nighttime operation. Also provided by Pumpmakers under open-source are plans for drip irrigation and aquaculture systems.

Academic Research and References

Sontake, V., Kalamkar, V., 2016, “Solar photovoltaic water pumping system – A comprehensive review,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 59, pp.1038-1067

Goal 6. (n.d.). Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

P. Otieno, “World’s first DIY solar pump,” Constructionreview, 03-Feb-2015. Available: https://constructionreviewonline.com/products/worlds-first-diy-solar-pump/


Compliance with regulations

The DIY Solar Pump is CE certified and the CE Declaration of Conformity can be supplied on request.

Evaluation methods

Pumping output tests by the designer

Other Information

Awards given to Pumpmakers for the DIY Solar Pump: Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award 2015, “Vote for a Better Planet” Award 2015, Green Business Award 2014 TUN Fonds 2014, Ben & Jerrys – Join our Core 2013, TedX Speaker 2013, Innovation-Slot 2012, Social Impact Award 2011, build! Ideenwettbewerb 2011, Energy Globe Award 2011, Mehrblick Idea Lounge 2010


Pumps&Systems article


Construction Review Online article


GemEnergy article


Comments from the Community


  1. Anna_Advisor says:

    Under design specifications, it’s unclear what “The upgraded PM Solar Pump” is versus the DIY Solar Pump. This is the only mention of this I’ve seen… it’s misleading if the specs are listed here but nowhere else.

  2. Anna_Advisor says:

    Wow, the power requirement on this is huge! is that correct? It seems very different from the other competitive products.

Leave a Reply

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